The Rapid Transition Alliance invited British artist and former winner of the Jerwood National Sculpture Prize, Judith Dean to curate a online exhibition on the theme of rapid transition. Art is a powerful force with which to better understand and re-imagine our world and the use of imagination a vital tool and precondition to enable change. Below Judith introduces her initiative. We see this as the beginning of a bigger cultural conversation about rapid transition that everyone can participate in.

Earlier this year I invited a small group of artists to contribute to an online exhibition entitled Rapid Transition #2 on Instagram. New or existing work was called for in relation to the title and ideas of cultural production, for example; urgency, time, speed, pace, morphing, slippage, adaptability, transformation, collapse; retrospectively a kind of mutual manipulation could also be added to this list, in psychological, physical, material and environmental terms.

There are 7 artists in the show, all of whom also posted their image / video onto their own Instagram account with a link to the exhibition. Exploring the above concerns in diverse ways, their contributions range from collage and painting to video, digital images and installation.

Here’s a quick flavour of individual works:

  • Oona Grimes positions her semi-delinquent Etruscan children #13 between escape and constraint, as playful challengers, both to authority – here with boxing glove clock hands – and one another, as they simultaneously attempt to catch up with fragmented selves.
  • In Damien Meade’s Untitled, a push / pull illusion creates a kind of figure-surface tension, gentle, firm pressure, ridges, gulleys also playing with ideas of stasis: things are not quite as fixed as they might otherwise have seemed – I don’t know where I am or what I’m facing.
  • Ana Genove’s The Old Do Do Do paradoxically combines having to just get on with it with the extinction of the infamous bird, offering a kind of encrusted, cropped, dysfunctional creature, doomed to hover forever in the digital screenscape.
  • Marina Xenofontos shows a video of her mechanical installation Sequence 1: a projected image of a single, oversized eye reflecting in a rotating mirror, dispersing light around the space, engaging with questions of attention, perception, focus, fragmentation, disorientation.
  • Daniel Pasteiner’s AntiWorldClock, comprising of acid, sodium, pigment, water, alkyd, glass, steel, is another reflection – in this case on collective sado-masochistic behaviour as these model planets roll onwards to their demise: time really is no longer on our side.
  • In Creation Ritual Louise Bristow creates a new world and new relationships relatively quickly, from models, cut-outs and images, which she then dramatically slows down and takes considerable care over through the act of painting.
  • Lastly, Lucy Gunning’s Tree Punishment (detail from Leaves and Tangents) focusses on the constraint of nature, ostensibly for protection; here looking more like incarceration – medieval stocks come to mind, begging the question – what did the tree do that was so very wrong?